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November 2012

Who & What's New For 2013

  • Vail Resorts Open
    Northstar, Heavenly Valley, Vail, Breckenridge and Keystone ski resorts are open! Bring your skis, and don't worry about the rocks. They have plenty of snow to ski on. Woo-hoo… Let the season begin!

  • Industry Organizations Back Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month
    Both Snowsports Industries America (SIA) and the National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association (NSSRA) have declared their support for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM) and challenged their members to get involved, financially and personally.

    "After coming off one of the toughest seasons our industry has endured, it is now more important than ever for us to take a moment to invest in the future of snow sports, our future," said David Ingemie, SIA president. He has asked SIA members to help the industry by investing in the Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month initiative and its new component, Bring a Friend.

    At SIA's May board meeting, board members pledged $500 each, and some donated product for LSSM program prizes and giveaways. In an open letter to its 68,000 members and the industry, NSSRA chairman Brad Nelson encouraged everyone to "own the fight" and take personal responsibility for introducing skiing or snowboarding "to at least one new family of four." If each one of them introduced just one new family to the sport, it could mean 270,000 new participants."

  • Tahoe Area Ambassadors for LSSM
    Tahoe-based PSIA-AASI instructors Heidi Ettlinger (Heavenly Resort) and Allison Ace (Northstar) have been named ambassadors for the Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM) Bring a Friend initiatives, joining fellow Tahoe skiers Glen Plake and Daron Rahlves.

    All four will help spread the message that taking lessons from professional instructors is the best way to learn how to ski and snowboard. Heidi is a member of the PSIA National Alpine Team and an instructor trainer and examiner for the Western Division Technical Team. Allison is a full-time race coach at Northstar and has coached during the past two summers in Australia and New Zealand.

  • Snow Guarantees
    It appears that many skiers are playing it safe this year and waiting to see where the snow will fall before booking winter trips. To counteract this trend towards later bookings, a number of ski resorts are introducing fantastic early booking discounts, many of which center upon some type of "Snow Guarantee."

    They are saying, "We know you're a bit gun-shy after last winter, but book now because we'll have snow. If not, we'll let you cancel, switch your dates or somehow make it right." Winter Park and Mammoth Mountain are two of those offering up Snow Guarantees. Check their websites to see what they can offer you.

  • Customized Airline Pricing
    Airlines are experimenting with a new way to sell tickets and personalize prices to win back customers from comparison websites such as Travelocity and Orbitz. The International Air Transport Association, which represents airlines globally, is promoting the experiment to start next year as a way to customize ticket pricing, including fees for luggage and seat assignments.

    Airlines would ask shoppers for personal information, including membership in frequent-flier programs, travel history or use of a credit card, as they do at a specific airline site. They would then tailor a ticket price for each passenger, including pricing items such as meals, extra legroom or expedited boarding. The experiment is scheduled to begin early next year and potentially be adopted by 2016.

  • Round Trip Air from LAX to Kelowna from $300
    WestJet has released air seats to Big White Ski Resort in Canada for the Saturday non-stop fight from Los Angeles to Kelowna with fares starting from $300 for a round-trip ticket! Book today! These seats won’t last long.

    Contact Angela or Manon at groups@bigwhite.com or call Central Reservations at 800-663-2772 with your dates and number of people in your group. You will be required to send a deposit immediately.

Club And Council News

  • Sierra League & Council
    The Sierra Council will be kicking off the ski and race season with their annual holiday dinner December 8, 2012 in Tahoe-Donner. The council will announce their Man and Woman of the Year winners, who will represent Sierra in the 2013 competition. The event includes a silent auction to fund the council's administrative expenses for the coming year. Members of all the FWSA councils are invited. Contact Jo Simpson jo_simpson@sbcglobal.net before November 26, 2012 for reservations.

Far West Travel

  • Aspen/Snowmass will be the host for the 2013 FWSA Ski Week. The dates are February 2 – 9, 2013. Contact Gloria Raminha, VP of North American Travel, for more information. more...

  • Far West Mini Ski Week will be to Mt. Bachelor with lodging at The Riverhouse in Bend, OR. Dates are March 25 – 30, 2013. This trip is limited to the first 100 people who sign-up and pay their initial deposits. Contact Gloria Raminha for more information. more...

  • Far West International Ski Week to Innsbruck, Austria is March 2 – 10, 2013, with an extension to Garmisch & Munich, Germany from March 10 – 17, 2013. Sign ups are taking place NOW! Contact Debbie Stewart, VP of International Travel, for more information. more...

NewMember Benefits

  • Member Corner
    Last month, I listed a couple of our newest lodging partners, providing some great discounts to Far West members during their travels over the next year.

    Since then, I have gotten together with Go Alpine, the main transportation company between Denver or Hayden airports and Steamboat. Go Alpine is offering a 15% discount on their shuttle service. If your travels are taking you to Steamboat this coming season, check them out.

    The benefits are updated often, so keep checking to see what's new!

    Another benefit we have available is through Legal Shield. Legal Shield features would be the representation on traffic violations in any state, accident representation in any state (whether auto or on the slopes), insurance disputes and claim problems, billing disputes, luggage lost by airlines, lost wallet and ID information with the legal and identity theft restoration support, and 24 emergency card for accusation of identity theft or Miranda rights issues. It covers the entire family (kids up to 21 or 23 if in college full-time) and every specialty of law for a small monthly fee of $17 to $28 month. The legal network is composed of top ranking AV-rated law firms across the nation with availability of over 2,000 attorneys, with same day access.

Relief Fund for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

  • Eastern Winter Sports Reps Association (EWSRA)
    EWSRA has established a fund through the organization Waves for Water to help colleagues who were severely affected by Hurricane Sandy in the Mid-Atlantic. Many association members, their families, and the retail accounts that they serve, were wiped out from Hurricane Sandy, losing their homes and businesses in New York and New Jersey

    The Waves for Water organization typically focuses on providing clean water to those who need it in disaster relief situations. Efforts generally are targeted in areas outside the U.S. In the aftermath of Sandy, the organization is providing clean water and also is addressing the initial survival needs from first responder assistance to rubble removal and ultimately the rebuilding of our surf and snow communities.
Download a Word Document of the November 2012 News Flash.

If you have information for future editions, email editor Debbi Kor.




Northstar's unofficial mascot making the early opening date announcement. Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar are each expected to open additional terrain to skiing and snowboarding ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.








The “bring a friend to the slopes” initiative has been based on offering deep discounts on lessons, tickets, and equipment rentals, and sometimes even lodging. So invite a friend to share in those discounts. photo Smugglers' Notch, VT




Big White is offering ski packages for groups or individuals with air from $300 round trip non-top from LAX to Kelowna. Download flyer.




Celebrate Winter with the Sierra League and Council on December 8, 2012 in Tahoe-Donner. Download flyer.




Mt. Bachelor, site of our mini-ski trip this season is expected to open for the Thanksgiving holidays.




Go Alpine is offering a 15% discount on their shuttle service from Denver or Hayden to Steamboat, CO. Click here to make your reservations directly.





Waves For Water held a small fundraiser in Brooklyn, New York, to help raise funds for its recovery efforts in New Jersey and New York, including this stretch of Rockaway Beach.
Jeff DiNunzio/ESPN.com
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